A little pink puppy named Piglet for his resemblance to the mammal had the odds stacked against him early on. He was born deaf and blind, and he was one of 37 puppies living in a hoarding situation in a Georgia home.
The owners only had three dogs at first, but all of them were intact and started breeding with one another. Unfortunately, many of the resulting offspring were dapple-colored, and it so happened that two of them mated and gave birth to Piglet.
When two dapple-colored canines breed, there’s a 25% chance that the mating will result in what’s called double dapple offspring. These puppies often have predominantly white fur and abnormalities involving the eyes or ears, and Piglet got both.
Luckily, an animal rescue organization stepped in to help, giving Piglet and the other pooches a chance to find loving homes. Afterward, a veterinarian from Connecticut named Melissa Shapiro offered to foster the tiny pink puppy.
Although Melissa was no stranger to caring for dogs, Piglet’s first few months in Connecticut were taxing. He exhibited separation anxiety, which was understandable given he could neither see nor hear anything.
And when the pup wasn’t playing with Melissa’s other canines or sleeping, he was screaming his little head off. With the family’s unwavering love and kindness, however, Piglet eventually calmed down and became more trusting.
By that time, Melissa had already fallen in love with Piglet, so she decided to keep him for good. The vet was also determined to turn the pink pup’s experiences into something meaningful.
A third-grade teacher in Massachusetts started chatting with Melissa after seeing a social media post about Piglet, and she ended up sharing the dog’s story with her students. Much to the children’s delight, Piglet himself dropped by for a surprise visit at the end of the school year.
That’s how the Piglet Mindset was born. This way of thinking involves becoming more accepting of differences and keeping a positive attitude no matter what challenges one faces, just like Piglet.
The Piglet Mindset has since reached classrooms in Connecticut and Alabama, as well as Japan and Australia. Anyone can teach it; Melissa provides the learning materials for free on Piglet’s website.
The family also donates their earnings from social media ads and the sale of Piglet merchandise to organizations dedicated to special needs animals. Furthermore, Melissa and Piglet raise awareness by giving presentations and participating in conferences.
Melissa plans to eventually establish a non-profit herself so she can help more animals. For now, though, she’s glad that her pink pup’s story is inspiring people to adopt from their local shelters. Watch Piglet’s story here: